PETER Cope will have to wait his turn for a crack at the English super-feather title.
But the Hartlepool boxer will fight for a belt at big show at Houghton-le-Spring on Friday, March 7.
Cope will face Slough’s Ian Bailey for the British Masters super-featherweight title.
Promoter Mark Clauzel had proposed Cope v Bailey as an English championship eliminator and was waiting on a decision from the British Boxing Board of Control (BBC).
The BBBC would not sanction it but the contest goes ahead over 10 rounds for the lesser title.
Cope’s coach – and dad – Peter Snr told SportMail the Gus Robinson Developments camp were “disappointed” but it was a case of all systems go for “a meaningful fight” at Rainton Meadows Arena.
“Peter’s absolutely flying at the moment,” said Cope Snr. “I’m really excited about what he might do over the next few years.
“We’re a bit disappointed the Board did not approve this as an English title eliminator.
“We felt Bailey was a credible opponent – he’s a Southern Area champion and has boxed for the English title.
The fact both were at feather rather than super-feather has counted against us. But I’m assured Peter is still very much in the English pipeline.
“If he wins this bout and keeps winning that by the end of the year he’ll fight for the title.
“It’s still going to be for a belt – the British Masters and it is definitely a meaningful contest.
“Bailey is a good and experienced boxer, a title winner and an English challenger.
“He will come to win – he knocked out one of England’s best young prospects when he stopped Lewis Pettit.
“Lewis had won eight out of eight and he was being tipped for big things but Ian stopped him.
“If you do that then there’s something about you.
“We want and need meaningful fights for Peter and the people who support him want to see him in bouts like that.
“This match against Bailey falls into that category.
“It is a very good fight for Peter, there is a title riding on it, and one, if and when he wins, will give him another step forward.”
His unbeaten Hartlepool neighbours, Mick Hadfield and Tommy Ward, will also be on the Phil Jeffries-promoted bill at the Rainton Meadows Arena.
The show is headlined by the English lightweight championship derby between Sunderland’s Kirk Goodings and the “Fishburn Fox”, the Neil Fannan-trained Gary Fox.
For ticket info, call Peter on 07815 991247.